I was the kid who never needed a curfew. Who once grounded herself because she wanted to know what it felt like. Who never stepped foot in detention or a principal’s office. Who rarely talked back to her mom… and would feel intense amounts of guilt anytime she did.
My mom never once worried about where I was, who I was with, what I was doing. I was the quintessential good girl. I didn’t drink, I didn’t party, and I’ve never done drugs. I’ve never been grounded, and the only time I was ever in serious trouble (I can’t even remember the reason), my mom opted to take the computer and my books away from me. (IT WAS AWFUL, YOU GUYS. AWFUL. AWFUL. AWFUL.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the plight of the good girl, lately. It’s part of my identity and there are times that I wear my good girl persona as a badge of honor and times when I wish I had been a little more badass, gotten myself into a little more trouble, had cooler stories to tell friends.
Being a good girl is something that has followed me into adulthood. I am a bona fide rule follower. My library books are never late. I only cross the street if the pedestrian signal is flashing. I pay my bills on time. I won’t even jay walk!
I wonder a lot about how I ended up the way I did. Why didn’t I veer off onto a different path, especially considering my childhood. I’ve written about it a few times on the blog, so I don’t want to rehash all of that. My home life was messy. I didn’t have a normal childhood, which is what makes me wonder how I decided to veer on the straight and narrow, to harness the personality of a good girl, rather than something… else.
I think the easiest explanation is that I needed control. There was a lot about my childhood that felt out of control, so being a good girl was something I could have total control over. I could control my schooling and being the best student possible. I could control being the best child, to lessen the stress my mom was under and to hopefully earn my dad’s love. And that’s what I did. I threw myself into schoolwork and I tried to be the very best daughter for my parents. That I could control.
And it worked out for me. It really did. I graduated from high school with honors. I paid my way through college, graduating with honors. I’ve held down two post-grad jobs, excelling in both. I’ve forged friendships with people who are similar to me – I don’t have time for people who are more concerned with drama or getting wasted on the weekends or any of that. I just don’t. It doesn’t appeal to me. And sure, maybe I could have had more interesting stories to tell if I’d been less of a good girl. My good girl persona extends to my dating life and how I am very selective about the type of people I choose to date, to which someone once told me, “That’s boring.” Yep. It is. And I am proud to be boring to some people. Bring on the boring.
Being the good girl is just who I am. I’m proud of that child who threw herself into school and being good, rather than boys and finding her worth in other people. I’m proud of the woman I have become – someone who appreciates who she is. Someone who has created a life she really loves. And, though I know rules are meant to be broken every now and then, it also doesn’t mean my story is any less interesting if they aren’t.